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Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

All I can say is “OH MY GAWD, my life has been so crazy!” I have have descended deeper and deeper into a punishing abyss of “there goes another week of not blogging about my passion for all things healthy. When will I get a chance to say hello, how ya doin,’ sorry I can’t get back to you, but if you leave your name, and your number, I’ll get back to you.”  And I’m still not completely back, but today I’ve put my foot down and said “enough is enough, I’m going to let that shiznit wait, ’cause I miss my creative conversation with y’all. It’s been too long amigos! You must be wondering, “this girl’s just plain lazy.” Well, ya’ll are about to get schooled in Busy: 1. Motherhood and Marriage. 2. Construction in three rooms of our house…while living on site. Moving out of rooms, moving back into rooms….fun, fun, fun! 3. College, plus a 2 hour commute each day. 4. My son’s homework, plus my own homework: Statistics, Chemistry, and French. 5. Volunteering for my son’s organic program. 6. Cooking, cleaning, and laundry. “Whaaaa.” Now that I’ve exercised my right to winge uncontrollably (we live in [...]

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Fusilli in a Spicy Tomato Sauce with Spinach and Olives

Fusilli with Spicy Tomato Sauce

This pasta recipe’s  a lifesaver when you’re pressed for time, but crave a fresh, home cooked meal like Mama used to make. There’s no need to dial for a take away when cooking is this easy (and rewarding). Sooth your senses by filling the house with the heavenly aroma of sauteed garlic and chilli, sweet plum tomatoes, fresh spinach and moreish olives. Finish with a flutter of Parmesan. Ah, any day’s a great day for pasta if you ask me. Fusilli with Spicy Tomato Sauce with Spinach and Olives 3 tbs good olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced tsp dried red pepper flakes 1 1/2 lb tomatoes, blanched for 2 minutes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (or a can of organic chopped plum tomatoes) 3 cups fresh spinach, washed and dried 1 cup pitted black olives 1 lb dried fusilli handful fresh basil leaves, torn freshly grated parmesan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan and stir in the garlic and chili flakes. Cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Raise the heat to hight for 2 minutes, then lower [...]

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Minestrone Soup

Hearty Minestrone Soup

There’s nothing like a rainy day to inspire you to make a pot of delicious soup! As the rain pitter pattered throughout the day, nourishing the the lush hills of Laurel Canyon, Jake and I hunkered down, breaking out art pads, colored pencils, water colors, paint brushes, board games, and Match Box toys (Jake’s favorite: an orange and white ’57 Chevy). Later in the afternoon, we made this wonderful soup together. I chopped the veggies and Jake added them to the pot, using all the strength a 4 year-old can muster to stir the soup, marveling at the honeyed aroma in kitchen, and taking pride in his culinary creation with Mommy. Going to Farmer’s Market, picking out organic vegetables, and playing around with ingredients in the kitchen are cherished moments for the both of us. What I love about Minestrone soup is that it’s so rich, filling, and flavorful that meat eaters are never disappointed, and it’s a boon for kids that get finicky about eating veggies. The combination of pasta and creamy parmesan helps the wee ones forget about carrots, celery, and zucchini lurking in the soup (dicing vegetables so that they melt into the soup works a treat). Add a side salad, sliced crusty ciabatta, and you’re good to [...]

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Tomato Sauce with Porcini Mushrooms

Fresh-Tomato-Sauce-with-Porcini-Mushrooms

What a gift to live in Laurel Canyon. The jasmine is creeping along the path that leads to our house, blooming and scenting the air, which is absolutely heavenly. Just yesterday morning, I peered out from my bedroom window, and gazed upon two deer grazing on the hill opposite our house. Today I pointed out two eagles flying in the sky to my son Jake, who quickly said, “oh Mommy, they are so beautiful.” In the spring, wild turtles sun themselves in their favorite spot: through the dappled sunlight of the ivy that curls up the hillside next to our house. I will always be a Venice girl, but Laurel Canyon has it’s own unique pleasures: the most amazing creative community that are, drum roll please….nice! If you happen to live in Los Angeles, the search for the perfect neighborhood can be one of the hardest things to find.  For whatever reason, the average length of stay in L.A. is about 4-5 years. Much like Venice beach, the community spirit is chilled and creative. Essentially we’re talking Venice beach in the hills. Home to many legends such as Jim Morrison (the only house he ever owned is opposite the Laurel [...]

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Buckwheat Soba Stir Fry

Today’s post will be as quick as it takes to make this stir fry. This statement is not entirely accurate. The writing will take longer, but you’ll have a delicious meal in minutes. By time you cook, drain, and rinse your soba, your veggies will be ready to rock! Stir, serve, and enjoy a thoroughly cleansing meal. How simple is that?  It’s been a monster of a week with construction going on in the house: Builders in at the crack of dawn, knocking out the ceiling in our living room, stuccoing the outside of the house, tiling and plumbing bathrooms. Oy. This is the first peaceful Sunday in weeks, and I’m going to chill and read Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” with a nice cup of Earl Grey. I will post “before” and “after” photos soon!  Buckwheat Soba Stir Fry 8 oz package to buckwheat soba (I use Eden Brand) 2 tablespoons sesame oil for frying 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped 2 medium carrots, sliced in diagonals 3 inch piece of daikon, sliced into matchsticks 3 leaves dino kale, deveined and sliced lengthways 5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1 tablespoon gomasio to season (also by Eden) nama shoyu to season 1. Heat [...]

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Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs

This recipe has a thick, rich, and zesty tomato sauce, and the meatballs are packed with italian flavor. If you are worried that veggie meatballs sound ridiculously healthy, hang in there. You will not be sacrificing flavor for one moment. Here’s a little story: I made the dish yesterday, shot it for the blog (and for dinner later), then went on to the rest of my daily business, which included going to my son Jake’s “Back to School Night” for parents at 6:00 pm. The plan was for my husband to stay home and feed Jake while I went to chat to Jake’s teachers.  As I walked in the door, Toby said that Jake loved dinner, but he wanted to save the rest for me, so I could, “um, shoot it for the blog.” Uh huh. One of the traits I love the most about my husband is that he’s an incredibly ungifted liar. I made no comment, dropped my bags, and hit the stove. In the pan were the meatballs enveloped in a thick, luxurious sauce, with the spaghetti on the side. I took a forkful of meatball, dipped it into the sauce, and popped it in my mouth. [...]

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Linguine with Artichoke Hearts, Garlic, and Red Chili

As corny this sounds, I did a “Things that make you go Mmmmm” dance by the stove as I took a bite of this dish today. I’m talking a symphony of flavor in every mouthful. This is going to be my one of my new go-to recipes when I’m at a push for time. Twenty minutes to heaven ladies and gentlemen. Although this could be considered a light and summery dish, it’s a winner that I’ll be making all year ‘round.  The extra virgin olive oil in the sauce takes center stage in all of its fruity glory. It absolutely sings on your tongue. If you have a phobia of chilli, do not fret. By deseeding the chilli, you are taking away the powerful punch, and left with a mellow, warming bite. We had it for dinner this evening, and to be honest, I was more worried about what Jake would think of the artichokes. To my surprise, he gobbled up his dinner up in a heartbeat, then asked for more. Toby finished his meal and said,” it’s so good that it doesn’t need the artichokes!” Not exactly the response I was hoping for, but I still appreciate the enthusiasm. [...]

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Vegetable Chow Mein

Stir-fried, chow mein noodles are a huge hit with our son Jake. So much so, that they are on the regular rotation of weekly menu planning  (organizing ahead saves us beaucoup bucks). I know I can’t be alone in struggling to find healthy meals that appeal to our children’s taste buds. It can take some strength to stay calm when you cook a lovely meal, then your child turns their nose up to it. All I can say is hoo-wee, deep breaths all around.  Jake is a bit of a crafty character at the dinner table, so meal times are on and off like a light switch. When Jake is on, he’s on in a big way, clearing his plate until it shines, but when he’s off, all systems are down baby. My husband Toby goes into his well-crafted routine (in a friendly, yet mildly exasperated tone), “Jake, look at this beautiful food Mother has made for us. We are so lucky that she cooks such nice meals. Come on honey, please, eat your food.” Now I agree with you: This is T.M.I. in a big way for a 3 year old. What is really going on here: As much as [...]

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Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagne

Who doesn’t like rustic simplicity of Lasagne? Hard to go wrong? Slap on some sauce in between sheets of pasta, shove it in the oven, and forget about it, right? Well, that is one way to think about it. Another way is to put some good old lovin’ into it, cooking a meal that makes your toes curl because it’s soooo good. A meal that gets your man, or keeps the man you married for another 10-20 years. There are quite a few men staying at home to take care of the kids these days, so by all means switch it around to a woman if necessary. My point is, a little effort goes a long way in the cookin’ and lovin’ department. For years and years avoided bechamel sauce for fear of a caloric calamity (thou is not such a dullard as I), but once I caved in and tried it, love was truly in the air. On the days when I want to lighten the load, but not deprive my husband and son of the delicious swirls of heaven, I simply claim a little patch for myself and leave it out. I then strategically sandwich in the bechamel for [...]

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Penne with Spinach and Zucchini in Pesto Sauce

The sky is bullet grey, and the heavens have just opened up. I’m feeling particularly sloth like today. To keep my spirits up, I have thrown on a comfy oversized wooly cardie and slipped on some brightly colored Moroccan socks over my jeans. On such a day, it’s fitting to offer an easy heart warming recipe to get us all through the drab months of winter. Many of you may be snowed in or flooded for that matter. My objective is not to have you bobsledding or canoeing around town trying to find this or that. The ingredients in this recipe can all be found in one pit stop to your supermarket shelf and produce section. This recipe was inspired by my love of pasta. I adore carbohydrates. In fact, they are my very own frenemy(friend and enemy in case you were wondering). I have learned to fight the addiction of yeasty yummies by simple, wholesome, and satisfying recipes. Before we move on to the recipe, I’d like to let you in on a few of my Carbo-driven fantasies: Fantasy #1 Take the freshed, crustied loaf of Ciabatta, tear off a hunk, bathe in a pool of olive oil, and nibble away while watching Oprah. Repeat with another hunk of Ciabatta. Oprah’s show would be particularly gripping, relevant, [...]

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